Can Nikola Mirotic Jump into NBA Rookie of the Year Race?

December 9th, 2014 by John Wilmes Leave a reply »

Coming into the 2014-15 season, the conversation about the NBA Rookie of the Year race featured a number of names—Jabari Parker of the Milwaukee Bucks, Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers, just to name a few.

Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic wasn’t on that list.

The 23-year-old has already been an MVP in another professional league in Spain, so many followers of the NBA either don’t think him of as a rookie or don’t think of him at all.

With that said, Mirotic has been more than good enough to deserve mention among his first-year peers.

At 16.00, his player efficiency rating is higher than that of Wiggins, Parker and Noel. He’s been a surprisingly effective weapon for the Bulls, adding a balance of shooting, dribble penetration and instinctive passing, and occasionally causing havoc defensively with his quick, turnover-creating hands.

There’s a futuristic bent to just how versatile Mirotic is for a 6’10” player. As Nathan Grubel of Hoops Habit puts it:

A bi ...

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